My “Mongo” Series started in 1979 as a reaction to the tightly controlled, more symmetrical work I made in the mid '70s. Observing the slides in my lectures, I realized the organic look, which I loved, from the '60s was primarily due to my lack of control of the molten material. Back then the hot glass started to drip and run away from me.
I wanted to recreate that spontaneous feeling again. To regain the spontaneity of my earlier glass, I dramatically increased the size and weight of my pieces in 1979. I “let the glass move” again, oftentimes on the edge of control. It worked!
As glass cools, the molecules simply slow down to a stop, apparently “frozen” like a stop action video of a ballet. That is glass; all glasses do it. That is the feeling I want MY glass to exhibit. In the last couple of minutes, I feel that final movement. All my energy develops into the final molten expression. I love fluid glass!
Definition: MONGO - big, massive and powerful - reminiscent of that “planet with an evil ruler: ‘Ming of Mongo,” from the classic Flash Gordon Comix. I chose the nickname “Mongo” for my large, organic, powerful, fluid glasses from 1979 on.